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In 1955, the Friends Material Aids Committee asked for help in making layettes to distribute to needy children at home and abroad. And so our sewing group was born. Since our Friends School held classes in our schoolhouse, the ladies originally met in each other's houses. Five ladies from Meeting gathered willing helpers and got things rolling.

Younger women came with their children, who played together all morning, fortified from time to time by the hostess's generous offering of cookies and milk. During the next few years, the extreme need that had set needles flying lessened somewhat and our older ladies began to take life a little easier. The younger ones took up other forms of volunteer work once their children were in school. P.T.A., Visiting Nurse Association, Hospital Auxiliary and such claimed their spare time.

The sewing group lapsed for many years until it dawned on some Meeting members and attenders that the bench cushions in the Meeting House had become very shabby and, what's more, the horsehair stuffing had begun to escape and prickle.

As usual, the ladies agreed not to spend a cent more than necessary on the much needed renovation. The sewing group re-formed and set to work. By now the milk and cookie brigade had children of their own. They met in the schoolhouse which had become available once the school had closed. By the time they recovered the cushions, the Friends Fall Festival came into being, so they turned to making many lovely things for sale at the Stitchery Booth.

From layettes via upholstery to fairings hasn’t been the only change. Some of the young women now held down jobs, at least part-time, and joined the group when they could. Those whose children were still in pre-school and some sturdy grandmothers attended the sewing mornings regularly.

Ladies from Meeting help make soup for our Fall Festival.The ladies’ chat changed, also. The older generation seldom spoke of their personal concerns. They talked of general topics encompassing gardens, houses, recipes and the morning news. Today, they rely on each other for advice, comfort, and humor. The age spread assures that there's always someone who can listen with intelligence to whatever experiences others air. Their merriment at a young mother's tale of her toddler son's inspired mixing of baby powder and Vaseline and painting a variety of objects with this slurpy concoction helped her to see the incident in some perspective. The ladies then proceeded to regale each other with glorious horror stories of children’s mischief from dropping marbles down the bathtub drain to see how many would vanish to deliberately encouraging mice with cracker crumbs placed in out of the way places.

They shared their troubles—parents who are aging and need more care and more of their already crowded time, children who aren't doing well in school, their bereavements, and their fears about the world the coming generation was facing.

The members of our sewing group share their joys, too—graduations, successful attainments of cherished goals, weddings, recoveries, birthdays, and their great hopes and faith in the future of the Meeting and their children.

Every Thursday morning at 10:30 A.M., this intrepid group gathers in the Schoolhouse. They welcome anyone interested. Skill with a needle isn’t a pre-requisite. Sometimes they do odd jobs for the Meeting like mending curtains or addressing envelopes. They’ve even been known to just chat. The group waxes and wanes, but there’s always someone to listen, always someone to share life's ups and downs, always someone to share a laugh, always a welcome.

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